Archbishop orders altar removed, burned after ‘demonic’ threesome sex act involving priest

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The archbishop of New Orleans on Friday ordered an altar removed from a church and burned following an alleged sex act threesome involving a priest and two women.

On Sept. 30, a witness phoned police after peering through a window of the Saints Peter and Paul Roman Catholic Church in Pearl River, northwest of New Orleans, and seeing Rev. Travis Clark, 37, in a state of undress on the altar, according to reports.

The witness said the priest was seen with two women dressed in high heels and corsets, while he was only partially dressed in black and white priest clothing.

The witness grew suspicious after seeing church lights on at night. Police said the witness recorded the act and showed it to them.

Clark has only been a priest at the church since 2019. Ordained in 2013, he was also the priest for local Pope John Paul II High School.

An attorney for the two women — Mindy Dixon, 41, and Melissa Cheng, 23 — called their arrests “appalling.”

“The fact that this involved a priest or took place in a church is completely irrelevant,” attorney Bradley Phillips said, according to the New Orleans Advocate.

“I understand that people may be upset by this situation, but that does not make this conduct illegal or criminal in any way,” he noted further.

All three were arrested on obscenity charges for having sex within view of the public since the altar could be seen through glass doors and windows.

Inside the church, the trio had erected stage lights and was recording their acts with two cell phones, the New Orleans Advocate noted. Also, according to the outlet, officers confiscated plastic sex toys as well.

New Orleans Archbishop Gregory Aymond, who had the altar burned, described Clark in a video message to parishioners as “demonic” and “deplorable” for committing the sex act inside the church.

“His desecration of the altar was demonic,” Aymond said, referring to Clark. “I am infuriated by his actions. When the details became clear, we had the altar removed and burned.”

Nevertheless, regarding the alleged illegality of the act, Phillips said the “only pertinent question is if it took place in view of the public. Clearly, that is not the case.”

In a separate report on Friday, the New Orleans Advocate reported that Dixon — an adult film actress who works as a dominatrix — noted in a social media post a day before her encounter that she was meeting another dominatrix to “defile a house of God.”

The New Orleans Archdiocese said it suspended Clark the day he got arrested.

Some locals were disturbed by the news.

“What upsets me is, why did he have to do that there?” said town council member Kat Walsh. “I’m upset for all of us, the parishioners of the church. Why there?”

On the day of Clark’s arrest, another New Orleans priest, Rev. Pat Wattigny, revealed to Aymond that he had sexually abused a minor in 2013. Clark had replaced Wattigny at Pope John Paul II High School after Wattigny resigned over the summer for sending inappropriate texts to a student.

Bill Arata, a lawyer who represents a student who got texts from Wattigny and who is the father of another student at the high school, said students are having difficulty coping with all of the news.

“Today is one full week to hear two incredibly disappointing events and to say that an in-house deacon can provide counseling to these kids when the deacon has children at the school would be the equivalent of sending me to do it,” Arata told WWL-TV.

“I don’t think it’s appropriate. I think they need world-class crisis intervention. It’s obvious now they need it.”

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Jon Dougherty

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